The Slippery Rock University men’s soccer team lost their season opener 2-1 against the University of D.C. on Thursday.
D.C. scored the first goal of the game in the first half after sophomore goalkeeper Steven Rerick bobbled the ball in the box and D.C.’s sophomore forward Hassirou Diakite deflected the rebound into the back of the net. D.C. put their second goal on the board three minutes later when sophomore Nenad Smiljanic scored on a penalty kick with one minute remaining in the first half.
The Rock was able to get on the board in the 57th minute when senior forward Dom Francis was able to score after being awarded a penalty kick.
“I think this game went exactly the opposite of what we did last week during our scrimmage. The first half wasn’t very good but the second half was better,” head coach Andy Hoggarth said. “We battled the 30 minutes of the game. It was good, we just have to get back to being a physical, hardworking team who just presses the ball.”
Francis led SRU with three shots on goal.
Junior forward Peter Boylan had two shots, while senior midfielder Brandon Chiu, senior midfielder Anthony Jack, and junior defender Nick Kutcher each had one shot.
The University of D.C. had 19 shots during the game, compared to the Rock’s 11. D.C. was also able to fire nine shots on goal while SRU only had five.
A total of 39 fouls took place during the game, and Francis was sent off the field after being shown a red card in the 78th minute. Junior defender Stephen McConahy and senior defender Josh Brake were each shown yellow cards as well.
Rerick played in the net for SRU for the first time in his career, after sitting out his entire freshman season.
Rerick played the entire 90 minutes of the game, allowing two goals on nine shots while saving seven.
“We just have to go back to being a hard working team who just presses the ball,” Hoggarth said. “I don’t think we need to make too many adjustments, we just have to go out and get used to playing together.
Not necessarily playingtime adjustments, but coming out and playing hard in the first couple minutes to getting into the right mindset.”
The Rock’s next game will be on Sunday, Sep. 7, where they will take on Urbana University at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium at 1 p.m. The team’s overall record now stands at 0-1.